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Algiers

4.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 11, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

22 years and 6 albums since forming as a band, Calexico presents their 2012 album Algiers, recognizably classic Calexico but with a style that has been revitalized and reborn by the experience of recording in New Orleans. Conscious of the clichés that can sometimes afflict acts working in a city with such a strong identity, band members Joey Burns, John Convertino and producer Craig Schumacher chose to avoid the bigger, better known studios in favor of a smaller, more intimate setting. The result of this decision is arguably the most exciting and accessible record Calexico have made.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ANTI Records
  • ASIN: B008C40218
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,662 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas E. Davis VINE VOICE on September 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joey Burns and John Covertino founded Calexico in Tucson in 1996, and they continue to explore territory on the border between Southwestern rock and Mexican music. Longtime fans will be very satisfied by this new release, their seventh, and it should attract even more followers with its seamless blend of atmospheric guitars and vocals with lush horns and violins. Recorded in New Orleans, it bears none of the sounds of that city, but it does capture some of its mournful pathos.

"Algiers" opens with two sweeping anthems, "Epic" and "Splitter," followed by the songs "Sinner in the Sea" and "Para," both of which have a feeling of low-key, minor-key menace that builds to a shattering climax. A Latin rock instrumental entitled "Algiers" precedes a powerful song of lost love, "Maybe on Monday," and two others with a south-of-the-border style (think acoustic guitar and mariachi trumpets), "Puerto" and "No Te Vayas," the latter sung in Spanish. The album closes with two intimate, heartfelt songs. The first, "Hush," is much simpler than second, "The Vanishing Mind," which features a layered sound with acoustic piano and strings.

Not all of the tracks on this CD are quite as effective as the ones I've mentioned. The confessional "Fortune Teller" is a lovely composition that brings to mind Paul Simon, and while that's very good company to be in, I feel the song lacks distinctiveness. "Better and Better" is just too fragile and pathetic for me. Overall, however, the album is a beautiful, brooding work that perfectly matches my mood on those cloudy days when I want to wallow in my blues.

A two-CD import edition is also available. It contains "Spiritoso," a second 12-track disc with an excellent live concert performance that includes several of the songs on "Algiers":

1.
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Format: Audio CD
Truly beautiful album -

Perhaps one of their most accessible albums to date in terms of album/song structure, but that in no way means it's easy or light. Algiers is full of shadowy, mysterious, exquisite songs, woven into one beautiful complex and cool album.
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Oh man this is excellent. For me, the last couple releases have just been okay--I don't think Calexico can make a bad album, but the songs bled together too much for me, and things felt a little complacent--but this one seems like the most alive since "Feast of Wire" and "Convict Pool," two of my favorites. There's a great variety of songs here that cohere to suggest a larger narrative. The instrumental title track is a standout, and "The Fortune Teller" may be the most unapologetically beautiful Calexico song ever. HIghly recommended.
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By jchip on November 26, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Calexico for many years, after a friend played their Feast of Wire CD for me while on a road trip. Ever since I've managed to pick up most of their albums, and they have continued to impress me. I feel this album has a feel more like their older albums, and less like their last two, which were my least favorite by far. After many repeat listens, I would highly recommend this album to any Calexico fan, as I think it stands with their best stuff. If you are new to Calexico, I would still recommend starting with Feast of Wire or Hot Rail.
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Format: MP3 Music
Another great offering by Tucson based band Calexico. Despite other reviews I have read, this album is not a huge departure from previous albums. Algiers tones down some of the desert noir made famous on albums such as 'feast of wire' and 'black light' in favor of more accessible songs similar to the offerings from 'carried to dust'. But don't worry the borderlands are not far from this album with trumpets still crooning and with at least two songs in spanish the Calexico you have grown to love is firmly represented on this piece. However a new set of singles come out of this album that will go down as some of the best song writing of Calexico's career. Good work guys!
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I've seen Calexico play live twice and they are one of the best live acts I've ever seen. The latest show was a lot of Algiers material and it was incredible live. I wish they could capture the live experience on disc...perhaps a video would be even better than the compact disc. Still, this is a very good collection of songs that deserves your attention. There is world music here, twang without country music sound, lots going on while much that seems stripped down. Calexico is nothing if not an anomaly. Splitter trundles along like a train in Texas, Dead Moon is a Clint Eastwood film, Algiers (the song) is tango aboard the deck of a cruise ship under a harvest moon, cruising just offshore from Puerto Vallarta, wordlessly. Some of it is achingly slow, some breathless. All of it is of a mood that is entirely worth feeling.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
FAQ:

Does it come with a Digital Download? Yes - Sort Of. It includes a full CD in a white paper sleeve. Rip the CD to your iTunes, play it in your car, it's yours. Just don't be an a-hole and sell the CD on amazon as "used, case missing". :)

Is it 180 gram? I don't think so, it doesn't come labeled as such. However, the LP record does feel substantial and there is very warm bass response.

Overall, is it worth buying the Vinyl over CD or MP3? Well, if you appreciate the warmth of vinyl, especially for acoustic based music like this, then, yes, get it. The included CD ensures a full access to the music from all your listening environments: HiFi, iPod, Car, phone, etc.

But how is the music? The music itself is excellent. Compared to albums like "Black Light", this is a very accessible collection of songs. However, it still shouldn't be confused with pop-rock. Calexico consistently delivers the goods, and this album is no exception.
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